Sometimes in life you have to expect the unexpected even if it means leaving behind what you have become to know especially when you find you have been lied to your entire life. When friends become your enemy and your enemies become your friends, you have to decide if the path that was forged for you is the path that you stay on or the path you stumble off and pave your own way.
Watching silently from the chair as the adults argued amongst themselves, each trying to be heard over their fellow Order members. Hermione stayed as small as she could hoping to be ignored, though she could feel a set of eyes watching her intently.
"Enough!" the headmaster calmly called out gaining the attention of the room. "Arguing will get us no where. First and foremost we must decide on how we precede from here."
Silence settled upon the group as every eye was turned on their leader, the occupants shuffling uncomfortably upon their seats.
"What is there to discuss Dumbledore? At worst the girl is a danger to us, at best she is a liability. I say she leaves before she turns on us." Madeye Moody grumbled from his place at the back of the dank kitchen. His magical eye staring at the brunette.
Hermione bit her bottom lip, hoping to keep the wobble from being noticed. Her heart thumped unpleasantly in her chest, she could feel the hot pin prick behind her eyes the telltale sign she was on the verge of crying.
"I agree with Moody, we need to think of the children Albus" Remus Lupin spoke up, earning a nod of approval from the retired auror. "Miss Granger can not be trusted.."
"Granger is barely that of a child and you want to toss her out on the street." The door of the kitchen swung open emitting the dark brooding potions master of Hogwarts. His black bottomless eyes trained on Hermione, his pale face blank of emotion.
The headmaster straightened up in his seat, turning his full attention on his youngest employee. "Severus I was unaware you were coming tonight."
"We are in the middle of a war and you want to leave a child to defend herself against the enemy. Pray tell Albus where has your sense of duty gone? Are you so willing to judge her without evidence first or are we assuming guilty without proven?"
"You have understand my boy Miss Granger has betrayed us and as such I can not allow her to remain here and around young Harry."
Try as she might Hermione couldn't hold back the tears that splashed down her cheeks. The cold dread burrowing its way through her heart leaving her feeling hollow.
"May I suggest putting Hermione in the leaky cauldron till Hogwarts starts up again?". Sirius weighed in, his voice soft. "At least we can be sure Hermione will be safe."
Hermione sat in the back booth of the cauldron, hidden by her robes with the hood pulled up over her curls to keep herself from being identified. With no support system in place and no one on her side she was terrified of being noticed, of being recognised.
Two weeks since her fate was decided for her, two weeks alone to listen to her thoughts that swirled around her mind. No amount of thinking helped the young witch found the reason why she suddenly an outcast. With her parents dead Hermione had no place to call home. She knew her mother and father would of believed her innocence. Innocent till proven guilty Hermione.
So within her thoughts she failed to register the uninvited guest that sat opposite her. She wondered if Hogwarts would welcome her back or if she should leave and if she chose to leave where would she go. Her limited money was deceasing each day by staying in the leaky.
"Hello deary." A gruff voice broke through her thoughts causing her to jump in her seat, hissing in pain as her knee collided with the table. Her hazel eyes met the murky brown of an old woman dressed in filthy rags, her crooked yellow teeth on display. A smile crossed with a leer making Hermione shudder with fear.
"A sweet thing like you all alone. Where's your friends deary?". The old woman cooed at her.
Hermione shook her head. "They will be here in a minute." A lie, she no longer had friends but this woman didn't need to know that.
The old woman laughed, her eyes crinkling with delight. "I've been watching you deary for quite sometime now and no one is coming, are they? No need to lie to me, I'm not going to hurt you."
The sickening thought of what this woman wanted crossed her muddled mind. She resembled some of the knockturn alley whores that frequented the dirty back streets.
"Why don't you come with me, I can keep you company." The old woman reached across the table, covering her hand with her own. "You are a very pretty thing."
"I need to get going.." Hermione suddenly pulled her hand away and stumbled off her seat out of the booth. Without a backward glance she took off out the pub and onto the street of diagon alley, dodging the patrons as she ran by. She didn't make it far as the woman grabbed her arm pulling her into the dark alley.
"Please let me go I.. I don't want trouble" she sobbed out.
"Hush you stupid girl!"
Hermione shrunk back against the wall, the cold wet stones digging into her robe cladded back. Fear rocketing as she recognised the woman standing before her. Gone was the whore replaced by a tall woman with platinum blonde hair that cascaded down her back, separated by a small patch of black curls. The most stunning feature was the most intense blue eyes that she had ever seen, trying to pierce through her soul. Red ruby lips curved on snow white skin.
Of all the people Hermione had the misfortune of seeing, it had to be the wife and sister of a death eater. Narcissa Malfoy mother of her childhood rival.
"Daft girl. What do you think your doing wondering about alone?" Lady Malfoy scolded. Hand on hip as she glared down upon the younger witch.
Hermione cleared her throat, "I had no choice.." she didn't get very far.
"Surely Dumbledore wouldn't allow one of his charges to wonder without an escort during these unfortunate times."
Clearly this woman wasn't going to listen to a word Hermione was going to say. "It is none of your business madam." Quick as a flash Hermione was pinned up against the wall, a hand gripping her chin, sharp nails digging into her flesh. Blue eyes were scrutinizing her very being.
"Stupid girl, manners cost naught. Do you have a death wish?" Lady Malfoy harshly whispered. Her breath ghosting over her cheek.
Her mind going blank and the feeling of her banishment eating away at her heart, Hermione looked into the older woman's gaze and mustered up her last bit of courage. She had nothing left to lose.
"I have no one.. If you wish to kill me so be it." She felt the tears pressing against the back of her eyes. Maybe death was the answer she was looking for, knowing she wouldn't been able to sum up the courage to do it herself, if letting a death eater catch her would give her the peace she desperately needed.
A sharp intake of breath sounded from the older woman, her vice like grip weakened as she stepped away from Hermione. She raised one perfectly groomed brow at Hermione's acceptance.
"Where's your parents?"
A strange look passed over the woman's face, one Hermione couldn't identify. As quick as it came, it was gone with a blink of the eye.
"Surely the Order would of taken you in?"
Hermione mutely shook her head.